THE SEARCH ENGINE GODS HAVE SPOKEN:
The powers that be at Google announced at the end of 2018 that more than 50% of the web pages in Google search results would be indexed by Google’s Smartphone Googlebot — also known as mobile-first indexing. Mobile-first indexing is when Google uses a website’s mobile version to index its pages. Well, the search engine giant has made another proclamation: as of July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing will be the default for ALL new web domains. Since 2015, the majority of Google users start their searches on a mobile device, in fact, 3 out of 5 searches happen on mobile.
Why you should care: If you haven’t already, now is the time to check to make sure your web content has been optimized for mobile viewing — aka make it as mobile-friendly as possible. Why? It’s simple — if your web content is not mobile-friendly, it will not rank well for SEO. This means incorporating responsive design (site design that adapts to the viewer’s screen) and increasing site load speed by compressing images and cleaning up code. Why does all this matter? Not only has Google decreed it is essential if you want to rank well in search engine results, but mobile users are also far more likely to convert on a mobile device than on a desktop. In fact, 3 out of 4 mobile searches trigger a follow-up action. Translation? You’re more likely to connect with prospects initiated through a mobile search, so meet those potential students where they are!
THEY MAY NOT BE ON FACEBOOK OR WATCH TELEVISION, BUT GEN Z IS THE “MOST CONNECTED” GENERATION TO DATE: Make way, Millennials — marketers have a new generation to obsess over. Gen Z—which consists of people born between the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s—grew up with vast amounts of technology and information literally at their fingertips. The greatest influence on Gen Z is their constant connection. In a recent study, 45% of teens claim to be online “almost constantly” and another 44% say they’re online multiple times a day. They go online to research products and services — and ask questions about them — long before they’re ready to actually make a purchase. But they aren’t just researching your products. Gen Z wants to know everything about your brand, from your mission and values to the people working behind the scenes. This generation primarily accesses the internet via their mobile devices and has even less patience than Millennials do when it comes to getting the content they want, in the format they want, and at the speed they want. They willingly engage in live chat conversations and with chatbots because these tools often get them the answers they’re looking for much faster than filling out inquiry forms do.
Why you should care: Generally speaking, colleges and universities have always been slow to adopt new marketing methodologies and align communication strategies with users’ preferences. Generation Z isn’t as forgiving as previous generations when it comes to getting answers to their questions. This generation is always connected, quick to respond, and conversational in their communications — and they expect your admissions team to be the same. Undergraduate and graduate admissions teams must become comfortable and familiar with how Gen Z researches, consumes information and engages in conversation — and then alight their communication strategies and flows accordingly.
EVERY CONTENT MARKETER’S FAVORITE QUESTION:
When will see meaningful ROI on our blogging efforts? One of the most challenging tasks of being a content marketer — regardless of industry — is proving the return-on-investment of a campaign. Contently argues that one of the biggest mistakes marketers make is assuming technology will solve everything. Software like HubSpot, Pardot, or Google Analytics can help you crack the ROI code by logging the actions people take before they become customers, but only if you understand how to connect your content to commerce and how to leverage this connection sustainably. Therefore, it’s crucial that organizations understand how the are going to measure campaign success (whether by first attribution, last attribution, or multi-attribution) and maintain that point of measurement over a defined period of time. Too often, organizations measure campaign success in hodge-podge-y ways — making it incredibly difficult to ascertain a clear understanding of what the data is saying on what is and isn’t working.
Why you should care: While content-based methodologies for student recruitment — like inbound enrollment marketing — are still fairly new to the higher ed space, the need to prove that your office is spending your marketing and recruitment budget isn’t. More and more enrollment marketers are being asked to defend every marketing dollar — and in order to do this well, enrollment teams must have the tools and processes in place to quickly, and correctly, identify and protect the channels and strategies that are producing the greatest returns.